Cricket-Players union says English domestic schedule ‘unsustainable’

(Reuters) – The Professional Cricketers Association (PCA) said the English men’s domestic schedule for 2024 is unsustainable and increases the risk of injury for players.

The County Championship will run from April to September with a break for T20 Blast competition and One-Day Cup.

More than 130 matches of the T20 Blast will take place from May 30 to July 19, with teams playing two matches mostly between Thursdays and Sundays, sometimes on consecutive days.

“My biggest issue is the welfare of players and support staff being disregarded,” said bowler Sam Cook, Essex’s PCA representative.

“Particularly with regards to travel throughout high-intensity periods of T20 cricket.

“This has an enormous impact on … performance and increases the risk of injury.”

PCA CEO Rob Lynch said: “The announcement of the 2024 fixtures is a reminder that the men’s domestic calendar in England and Wales is unsustainable and is in need of reform.

“We are aware the (English board) acknowledges the schedule is not ideal and following recent game-wide conversations, we understand the game has an ambition to look seriously at the 2025 fixture list.”

Gloucestershire’s David Payne said the schedule was “unrelenting”.

“There are a number of occasions that do not allow appropriate time between fixtures,” he added.

(Reporting by Chiranjit Ojha in Bengaluru; Editing by Peter Rutherford)